Regretsy is shutting down

April Winchell is shutting down Regretsy, the site where she has tirelessly cataloged the most horrible things on Etsy, from "an oil painting of a couple copulating inside a burger bun, called Sex Burger; a vulva-faced zombie ornament; a custom unicorn hoodie and a cat hairball necklace." She explains to Wired UK what it was like to run the site:

You would think that a joke and a photo wouldn't take that long to crap out, but this site was a time suck like you would not believe. There would be days when I would be on the couch with my laptop for 16 hours, just exhausted and in tears.

First, you have to find the stuff. And you have find great stuff. And that gets harder because the shock needle keeps moving. After a year or two you're like, "Eh, another teddy bear with a vagina, who cares." Bad crafts are like drugs; you have to keep upping the dose to feel anything.

Then you have to write the joke or do the Photoshop or come up with the contest. You do the coding and resize the images and read hundreds of emails every day. We mailed thousands of books and packages, we fulfilled hundreds of charity requests, we did sales and fundraising and fan meet-ups and Secret Santa for underprivileged kids, and at one point I was writing four posts a day. I loved every second of it. But you can't do that forever.

Regretsy closes, the world mourns the end of DIY meets WTF [Wired/Olivia Solon]

(via Beyond the Beyond)


  1. My favorite part:

    If you had to go into a crafty business and sell your products on Etsy, what would it be?

    Handmade steampunk post-apocalyptic zombie-themed menstrual blood paintings on upcycled thrift store sweaters.

  2. It’s the same thing with sites bagging on horrible kickstarters (of which there are plenty… both horrible kickstarters and sites bagging on them).

    How long can you do it before it sinks in that the people doing this are making more money than you are?

  3. Sounds like April was over-worked. Writing jokes, doing Photoshop, writing emails. It’s a wonder she survived at all. Personally, if I write one joke by 3:00 pm, I considerate it a full day and wait to do my Photoshop and emails until the next week.

    1. eh, you know, that’s rather mean. Of course, in the grand scheme of things an overworked blogger is kinda funny. But one can do a job that is neither dangerous, nor physically taxing and still get burned out. Sure, we can do the trite thing and say “what about miners in Africa!” and then we all collectively laugh at the privileged white woman and her complains. However, that doesn’t make her all too real pain any less real. And to be honest, I’d rather live in a world where talented people who entertain us (no matter the medium) are also recognized for their work and their effort. That doesn’t detract from the suffering of others that have it worse. She did a great job of writing a blog that was appreciated by thousands. That gotta be worth more than just gratuitous snark.

      ETA: Also, she was instrumental in getting a Tardis shaped urn for a man that died, in his 20s, of brain cancer. It was his last wish and he passed away a few weeks after receiving the urn. Even if April had done nothing else but that in her entire blogging stint, it’s more than we can say about the vast majority of bloggers. She did something concrete that touched a dying man’s life. For that alone, she deserves way more than snark.

      1. April did a ton of cool charity stuff – I had a lot of respect for her in that regard.

        But that doesn’t mean that finding rubbish Etsy listings, posting them with one-liners and cobbling together a photoshop montage is so much work that getting 3 out a week was a push.

        I know exactly how much work is involved in every aspect of her job, and the only reason it could have burned her out (given the quantity of content being posted) is if it were a hobby she dedicated little time to, she did it full time but was really bad at all of those things, or she got bored.

        This has nothing to do with miners in Africa.

        [It’s been noted that this wasn’t her full time job. In which case her being overworked is understandable, to the extent where there should be no surprise that she was overworked, for her or us]

        1. I kind of figure April’s esteemed Regretsy site began to lose money (like many independent websites that have basically been crushed my Facebook) – if it were making money, April could have just delegated some of her taxing duties to someone else. It would make financial sense

          What we’re seeing now in 2012-2013 is the next wave of Internet marketing and related money-making Internet humor. Things online aren’t as innocent and carefree as they were in 2001-2004, just prior to the mighty Facebook Time-Sucking Revolution. Personally I think “making fun of stuff” on the Internet has run its course…the big players have figured out how to easily sell stuff online. The Internet is a shopping mall now, or rather PRIMARILY a shopping mall

          1. Only if included in those 4 posts you count old re-posted material and entries about sending out CF4L packages ;)

            It used to be better, it got worse over time, as her interest wained I assume. It may have even improved again, maybe I just gave up on a bad period – but it did turn into more of a circle jerk for a bit, which I had little interest in.

    2. Meh, she gave up on the site years ago.

      It’s been 3 updates a week and a deluge of ‘from the archives’ for a long while.

      Then there was that period where every new post was about merchandise for her fans – which was probably great for the vocal minority, but for the millions of people who dropped by daily to check out the latest regretsy is was confusing and pointless – more of a fan club than a blog.

      Her site, her rules – but it was given up on A LONG time ago.

      Also I agree with you: sure, what she did was a job. Most jobs are jobs, that’s kinda how it works.

      1. I didn’t know that, I’m guessing they didn’t either.

        Probably mentioned in the original article (?) if so at least you know why people assume that it was a full time job – and it also becomes the obvious reason why she burned herself out, because running a blog singlehandedly is MORE than a full time job.

        1. She’s a well-known voice actress who does a lot of work for Disney.  She did start Regretsy when she wasn’t working and was bored, but when things picked up it became too much.

  4. Sigh… we’ll miss you.  Curating the bad for the benefit of all is taxing.
    So long and thanks for all up the upcycled steampunk zombie apocalypse fish.

      1. Yeah, now I start feeling pretty mean for making him delete my rant-astic crap all the time. Poor guy needs some rest.

  5. This is not too uncommon: blogger burnout. In my own experience (and coincidentally, I am in the middle of a blogger burnout phase), unless a blog is run by a collective of people who can post with relative frequency so that if one individual falls off the posting wagon, the others continue posting to keep the site fresh, this happens a lot. If I recall correctly, this burn out also happened to Hyperbole and a Half, which was wildly successful. Both Regretsy and Hyperbole and a Half spawned books and side projects and a degree of name recognition for the women involved and yet, not even those “perks” were enough to keep the sites running regularly. There is a point when it can become overwhelming, a burden of sorts.

    This is why, the future of blogging (at least for sites that become very popular and have a decent follow base) is collective. Also, the only way to carve a space in a media landscape that is more and more absorbed by the blogging powerhouses (Buzzfeed, Gawker, etc.).

    1.  The author of Hyperbole and a Half had a major depressive episode, disappeared for months, made an update explaining that she had a major depressive episode, and vanished.

      Frankly, I’ve been dreading finding out what what happened to her. But at least as of 11 months ago she posted on Reddit that she was still alive, so that’s good.

      1. Hyperbole and a Half was wonderful – I think the situation is a little different though.

        I think that April should have started farming out the drudge work long ago if she wanted to keep the project alive; something that Hyperbole couldn’t do.

  6. I completely understand not working on it anymore, just please don’t take it down. Why throw away all the hard work that was already done? Surely the hosting bill can’t be that much of a burden compared to the ongoing ad revenue from the archives? 

    If a painter retires, they wouldn’t set all their paintings on fire. People who quit web sites have to leave them up. At bare minimum notify people at and make sure its’ safe.

  7. Bloggers, although buoyed by the attention and accolades, soon notice that it’s an exercise in futility to spend that much time and effort without a commensurate salary.  She did a really great job with Regretsky and I fully understand her reasons for closing it down, even though she did not site finances as one of the reasons.

  8. There’s something else I’ve noticed that would only have made April’s task a little harder.  More people on Etsy are acting as middlemen/resellers of stuff that is ‘crafty’, but that they don’t make themselves. 

    1. She tilted at that windmill, and Etsy basically told her to go screw. No doubt that made her a little more bitter.

      Just by the way, April has, in fact, hand-crafted “crap” — literally. One time she decided to liquidate some of her mountains of Hollywood detritus and weird stuff to gather a down payment on a house, and sewed up a whole shitload of “crap bags” — pillowcases with brown felt feces cartoons appliquéd.

      My bag contained (among other things) some horrid candy that was tied to a terrible movie, and a copy of Pia Zadora’s album of singing, which to this day gives me nightmares.

  9. Hey, there’s still , for now.  Personally, I had my fill of it a long time ago, but there it is.

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